Law Notes: St. Mary's University School of Law Newsletter Winter 2010

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Law Notes: St. Mary's University School of Law Newsletter Winter 2010


St. Mary's University School of Law


St. Mary's University School of Law Celebrated the 58th Annual Red Mass in October, Advocacy Programs Excel, 2010 Distinguished Law Graduates Honored


St. Mary's University School of Law


St. Mary's University School of Law San Antonio Texas, St. Mary's University School of Law, Sarita Kenedy Law Library




Charles E. Cantu, Beth Barbee


Law Notes: St. Mary's University School of Law Newsletter




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Winter 2010

St. Mary’s University | School of Law


St. Mary’s University School of Law celebrated the 58th Annual Red Mass in October.
ALSO INSIDE: Advocacy Programs Excel, 2010 Distinguished Law Graduates Honored

Legacy of Faith and Law

Dear Fellow Graduates, A very busy and productive fall semester has come to a close. We have much to report to graduates across the state and the country. First, on a personal note, I am honored to have been reappointed as law school dean. I thank all of you for the honor of serving you and our students each day. Our alumni’s support of the school and our students through donations, mentoring efforts and your prayers helps us fulfill our mission of education and service. I am also proud that our students are doing great things. A moot court team of third-year law students won a national championship this fall, bolstering our strong advocacy program’s reputation. Read more about them later in this issue. We want you to know we are working hard to recruit top legal minds and researchers from across the country to join our staff. This fall, we added Jamie R. Lund, a scholar in the area of intellectual property, to our faculty. Her leadership in this ever-changing and fascinating area of the law will be of great benefit to our students. Thanks to all of you who have become involved in our law school through your local alumni chapters. If you have been to any of our events this fall, you probably met our new director of Alumni Relations and Development, Emilie Herrmann Petty ( J.D. ’08). She left her post as an associate in Fulbright & Jaworski’s corporate section to join our team. We are pleased to have her on board and she will no doubt engage our alumni across the country. In Pennsylvania, one of our own, Tom Corbett ( J.D. ’75), was elected governor. We believe he is the first graduate of St. Mary’s School of Law to serve as governor. Congratulations to the new governor and to everyone who was elected in November. I am certain you will represent St. Mary’s well. Finally, in the New Year, I will begin communicating with you more frequently through periodic emails. Please be sure we have your updated information and email address by using the form on the back cover. Also, we have begun profiling young alumni in Law Notes, beginning with this issue. If you know of any recent graduates doing interesting work, please use the form on the back to share with us. Enjoy this issue of Law Notes, come back to St. Mary’s often and keep up the good work in your lives and communities. Sincerely, Charles E. Cantú ( J.D. ’64) Dean and South Texas Distinguished Professor of Law

CAREER SERVICES JOB FAIR CALENDAR Feb. 3-4 Austin, Public Service Days for government and public interest employers. Held jointly with all NINE Texas law schools. Feb. 11 Dallas/Fort Worth, open to all employers. Held jointly with Texas Tech and University of Houston. Feb. 16 San Antonio, Small Firm and Solo Practitioner Program Feb. 25 Rio Grande Valley, open to all employers. Held jointly with all nine Texas law schools. March 4 Austin, open to all employers. Held jointly with Texas Tech and University of Houston. March 11 Corpus Christi, open to all employers. Held jointly with University of Houston. March 25 Houston, open to all employers. Held jointly with Texas Tech University School of Law. El Paso, Virtual Job Fair. Open to all employers.
To participate, contact Suzanne Patrick at spatrick@ or (210) 436-3511.

Innovative Approaches in a Tight Job Market
As the economy swirled around the drain recently, prospective students have come to see law schools as the light at the end of the tunnel – a new hope. But even as the number of law school applicants are up, the numbers of jobs are down. Hiring strategies from firms have changed as many across the country have been facing recent layoffs. It has been a tough tightrope to walk for career placement offices around the country. St. Mary’s University School of Law countered by hiring an assistant dean and a new director of Career Services a little over a year ago who are undaunted by the economic downturn. “In today’s economy, we are constantly seeking new and innovative ways to supplement on campus interviews and attract employers from outside our region,” said Faye Bracey, St. Mary’s University School of Law Assistant Dean of Career Services. Historically, clerkships and law firm hiring were completed by the summer before the students’ third year of law school. Most of this was done through On Campus Interviews, known in the academic world as OCI. As with everything else these days, that is changing. “Many firms cannot afford to take time off from billable hours to travel and spend a day on campus. We are taking the students to the jobs, instead of expecting the employers to come to us. We are scheduling more job fairs and resume collects than ever before – and it is working for our students.”



Wroe Jackson (J.D. ’10) is a legislative aide for Texas Senator Joan Huffman, who represents District 17 in Austin. We asked Wroe five questions about how his new career is going. What do you like best about your current position? The energy of being in the Texas Capitol, surrounded by so many people who are working so hard for Texas. What is one important lesson you have learned from your employer? Persistence and hard work do pay off. Tell us about the most interesting legal issue or case you’ve encountered. The Texas Sunset Advisory Commission Review Process. It is an enormous process designed to eliminate waste within state government, which most people are not aware of. It is vital to making Texas government more efficient. What is one thing you wish you had known before graduation? The loan money may run out before you get hired! And that you have to be willing to put yourself ‘out there’ in order to get what you really want. Where do you see yourself in five years? Close to the Texas Capitol, if not working in it. Take Five is a new feature in Law Notes to spotlight young graduates. To recommend an interesting alumnus, let us know through the form on the back.

St. Mary’s School of Law is partnering with fellow Texas law schools to create new legal job fairs across the state. This spring, there will be job fairs in Austin, Dallas/ Fort Worth, the Rio Grande Valley, Corpus Christi and Houston. To ease the financial burden and time strain on employers, they are given resumes beforehand and interviews with the selected students are scheduled for them. There also will be a virtual job fair in El Paso, which will be held much the same way except the employers will do the scheduling themselves. Suzanne Patrick, director of Career Services, is working diligently to increase opportunities for students to interact and network with employers. St. Mary’s is scheduling events before most of the joint job fairs to allow students to score the all-important face time. “We have been working to get students in front of more employers all over the state,” says Patrick. “We are hoping the spring job fairs will be beneficial to both employers and students and pave the way for more events like this in the future.” The new processes seem to be working. Even in such a tight job market, St. Mary’s classes of 2009 and 2010 are thriving. Success stories can be found all over the state from court clerkships—two are currently at the Supreme Court of Texas and one at the Court of Criminal Appeals—to the private sector, from Cox Smith to Tesoro and AT&T. In February, St. Mary’s Career Services is inviting small firms and solo practitioners looking for law clerks onto campus for an afternoon of interviewing and networking with students. Interested employers will provide their needs and qualifications to Patrick, who will then send each employer application materials from which to select the candidates they will interview. “Small firms are often overlooked, because they are not hiring as often as larger firms or even government organizations,” said Patrick. “We want to reach out to them and offer our students as an untapped resource.” While placing students with jobs is the St. Mary’s Office of Career Service number one priority, it is an often overlooked resource for alumni.

“Over 75 percent of the positions in our job bank are for graduates, not students or new grads,” said Patrick. The job bank, housed on an online program called Symplicity, allows St. Mary’s law alumni access to national job postings as well as various law schools across the nation through the Intercollegiate Job Bank. “We understand as well as anyone how tough the job market is right now. We are out there in the trenches everyday looking for opportunities,” said Bracey. “We want our fellow alumni to know that we aren’t just here for the students. We have multiple resources for them when they need to make a career move.” To aid in research, Career Services maintains its own library of career resources ranging from information on legal specialties to directories for courts, government agencies, non-profit and public interest organizations and corporations. Especially helpful for those who have been working a while and have been off the interview circuit, the office offers software that records mock interviews for review. “Our alumni are our greatest resource,” said Bracey. “It is a mutually beneficial relationship. Their knowledge and networks are irreplaceable for our current students. When they need us, we are here for them.” Bracey and Patrick also invite alumni to join the Professional Network, a listing of St. Mary’s Law alumni and friends who are available to advise students on practice trends, geographic areas, and other careerrelated topics. The professional network is accessible through Symplicity. The time commitment could be as little as a brief response to a student inquiry or as much as mentoring a student to avoid some of the pitfalls and perils commonly faced by new lawyers. “Many alumni wonder how, other than financially, they can give back to the Law School. The Professional Network is an excellent way to make a contribution to our future legal professionals and to the St. Mary’s University School of Law,” said Bracey. To utilize the Office of Career Services resources, participate in job fairs or the Professional Network, contact Patrick at spatrick@ or (210) 436-3511 or


Marion Reilly (left) and Trevor Hall are two members of the national champion moot court team as well as individual award winners. Reilly won Best Brief Writer for the second year, and Hall earned the Best Advocate Award.

A St. Mary’s moot court team was crowned national champion at the Civil Rights and Liberties Moot Court Competition at Emory University School of Law in Atlanta this fall, adding another title to the St. Mary’s advocacy program’s impressive resume.

The team of Trevor Hall, Heather Haywood and Marion Reilly (all third-year law students) beat out 25 other teams from across the country—including traditional rival South Texas College of Law—for the national title. In the final round, the St. Mary’s team topped last year’s champion, Michigan State University School of Law. Reilly was recognized as Best Brief Writer at the competition for a second straight year. Hall was awarded the Best Advocate Award for the finals round. “The experience is extraordinary,” said Reilly, who has placed in the top three of all but one of the 12 briefs she’s written as a competitor. “What I’ve learned is the ability to apply everything I’ve learned to the real world. It is hard to learn that from a book.”

St. Mary’s Students Shine, Rack Up Another National Championship

for Advocacy
“We enjoy engaging in cutting edge legal problems that could possibly end up in front of the Supreme Court,” said Hall. “We learn all there is to know about the issues and where the hairline fissures are in the case where we can apply pressure.” The team attributes much of their success to the influence of coach Ricky Poole ( J.D. ’90), who practices at the Law Offices of Ricky J. Poole in San Antonio. “As an attorney with both a trial and appellate practice, I can tell you that I approach trial hearings and appellate arguments in the same way that I was taught to approach moot court rounds: determine the most persuasive way to present the most important points that will assist you in winning your argument, and answer any questions from the judge or justice in a manner that further bolsters your argument,” said Poole. “Ricky is adamant about us being prepared for any and all questions we could possibly anticipate in our round,” said Haywood. “I wouldn’t be the advocate I am today if it weren’t for his instruction and persistence.” “He deserves the majority of the recognition for our accomplishments, which would have been impossible without his guidance and sacrifice,” said Hall. And the team members understand sacrifice, as they spend four to five hours a day most days practicing and preparing for competition, on top of their regular law school load. “The best feeling in the world is being asked a specific question by the judge that you’ve already answered in practice. It’s hard not to smile; it’s a huge sense of victory.” Advocacy is a hallmark of the St. Mary’s School of Law legal education. Year after year, the program produces winning teams. The St. Mary’s advocacy programs are consistently recognized for excellence on regional and national levels (see sidebar for list of recent titles). “From the days when St. Mary’s was known as ‘the lawyer’s law school’, it has maintained a reputation as a top contender. The advocacy program continues to be a feather in the cap of the law school,” said David Schlueter, Hardy Professor of Law and St. Mary’s director of Advocacy Programs. The program is comprised of three primary components that allow students both academic and competitive opportunities to hone their skills prior to graduation: curriculum, Board of Advocates, and the external advocacy program. The curriculum is designed to give students an introduction to litigation and specific trial techniques, such as voir dire examination of jury panels, opening statements and direct examination of witnesses, and continue building on that foundation using technology to present cases, addressing strategic and evidentiary concerns surrounding the use of technology. St. Mary’s courtroom, one of the most technologically advanced courtrooms in the country, serves as the backdrop for this training. Not only does it adjust to accommodate jury trials or appellate court arguments, but is equipped to record and webcast proceedings and video conference remote testimony. Evidence can be fed into the courtroom presentation system and presented on a large projection display, an in-wall plasma display and flatscreen monitors at the bench, tables and jury box. The courtroom is also the practice facility for the external advocacy program, which includes moot court, mock trial, negotiation, Black Law Student Association (BLSA) and Hispanic Law Student Association (HLSA) competitions. Students try out for the teams and are then coached by adjunct professors, like Poole, to prepare for regional and national competitions. Aside from travelling to competitions throughout the fall and spring semesters, St. Mary’s also hosts


Grant Gaines (J.D. ‘10), law students Laci Ehlers and Marion Reilly and Coach Ricky Poole (J.D. ‘90) after competing at the 2010 Texas Young Lawyers Association State Moot Court Competition.


National Trial Competition 2008 Regional Champions 2007 Regional Champions 2006 Regional Finalist 2003 Regional Champions 2002 Regional Semi-Finalists 2001 Regional Semi-Finalists 2000 Regional Finalists ATLA National Competition (AAJ) 2007 National Quarter-Finalist 2006 National Regional Semi-Finalist 2005 National Regional Semi-Finalist 2003 Regional Finalists 2001 Regional Semi-Finalists 2000 Regional Semi-Finalists National White Collar Crime Competition 2007 National Semi-Finalist National Civil Trial Competition (Loyola) 2008 National Semi-Finalist National Criminal William Daniels Mock Trial Competition 2006 National Semi-Finalist 2005 National Semi-Finalist National Trial Advocacy Competition 2007 National Finalists National Civil Rights Mock Trial Tournament 2006 National Semi-Finalist University of Buffalo National Invitational 2009 National Quarter-Finalist 2007 National Quarter-Finalist 2006 National Quarter-Finalist 2005 National Quarter-Finalist (both teams) 2004 National Quarter-Finalist Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition 2010 Regional Finalist 2009 National Finalist 2006 Regional Champions Civil Rights and Liberties Moot Court Competition 2010 Champions (Best Brief and Best Advocate in Finals) Mack Kidd Administrative Law Moot Court Competition 2008 Semi Finalist American Bar Association National Appellate Advocacy Competition 2009 Regional Champions 2008 Regional Champions 2007 Regional Champion 2006 Regional Champion (Rated in top ten at Nationals) 2004 Regional Finalist 2003 Regional Finalist 2002 National Champion (Best Oral Advocate) Texas Young Lawyer’s Association State Moot Court Competition 2008 Semi Finalist 2007 Semi-Finalist 2006 State Champion (Best Oral Advocate) 2005 State Finalist

A St. Mary’s moot court team of Trevor Hall, Heather Haywood and Marion Reilly, pictured here with the judges at the Civil Rights and Liberties Moot Court Competition at Emory University School of Law after they swept the competition.

the Lone Star Classic every October. This competition and the internal competitions are run by the Board of Advocates, a group of 20 law students. “We could not adequately provide a quality advocacy program for our students without the strong support of the San Antonio bench and bar,” Schlueter said. “They serve as adjunct professors for our advocacy courses and as judges for the internal competitions and the Lone Star Classic. In addition, members of the local judiciary generously give us access to their courtrooms for not only competitions but also for the mock teams to practice.” “I derive a tremendous amount of enjoyment and satisfaction from coaching St. Mary’s students,” said Poole. “First and foremost, I have the opportunity to work with amazing students. I can’t tell you how much I have learned over the years from the students that have been part of the External Advocacy Program. Second, I love watching the students’ progress through the program as they refine and further develop their advocacy skills. And finally, I truly consider it an honor to be able to coach teams that represent my law school all over the country.”



Kauffman and Schneider Lauded as ‘Greatest Texas Lawyers’
Texas Lawyer magazine recently named “The 25 Greatest Texas Lawyers of the Past Quarter-Century,” including St. Mary’s School of Law Associate Professor Albert Kauffman and 1974 graduate Stanley Schneider, who were recognized for their work as legal champions. Kauffman, the sole professor on the list, spent 20 years as a civil rights lawyer for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and gained notoriety as lead counsel in the landmark case of Edgewood ISD v. Kirby, one of the most recognized decisions in recent Texas history. Kauffman represented a group of 13 underprivileged school districts against the Texas Education Commissioner claiming the school-funding system was unconstitutional. The case paved the way for an overhaul of school funding in Texas that significantly reduced the gap in educational opportunities and funding between rich and poor school districts. Kauffman also represented the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and other organizations in a similar case striving for more state funding for colleges along the Texas-Mexico border. These efforts lead to the 1993 South Texas Border Initiative, which has channeled more than a half-billion in funding to public universities in the Texas border area. Another of Kauffman’s achievements was serving as one of the drafters and advocates for the “top 10 percent rule” in the Texas Education Code, guaranteeing

entry into any Texas public university for the top 10 percent of public high school graduates in any high school in Texas. Schneider ( J.D. ’74), a partner in Schneider & McKinney in Houston, is a criminal defense attorney who specializes in trial and appellate work. In his 30 year career, he has represented numerous deathrow inmates and helped shape criminal law. He brought battered-woman syndrome to the forefront in Texas when he appealed the conviction of Pamela Fielder in the 1981 death of her husband. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) reversed the conviction in Fielder v. State due to the trial court’s exclusion of psychologist’s testimony on abusive relationships. Among his many high-profile cases, Schneider represented Wanda Holloway, the “Cheerleader Mom,” in a new trial. In the case of Wilkerson v. State, he persuaded the CCA to reverse the conviction of Claude Wilkerson, who had spent seven years on death row for a triple slaying, due to a trial court error.

Cantú, The Hon. John Cayce and The Hon. Jennifer Rymell, president of the Alumni Association Fort Worth Chapter.

Fort Worth Chapter Honors Outstanding Alumni
The St. Mary’s Law Alumni Association Fort Worth Chapter presented their 2010 Outstanding Alumni award to The Hon. John H. Cayce Jr., retired Chief Justice of the Second Court of Appeals. A native of Fort Worth, Cayce earned his Juris Doctor from St. Mary’s in 1982, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the St. Mary’s Law Journal. Cayce was elected to the Court of Appeals for the Second District of Texas in 1994. At his


retirement, he was the longest-serving chief justice in the state. Throughout his career, he has served on numerous boards, bar associations and committees including the Judicial Section of the State Bar of Texas, of which he is a director and member of its Appellate Judges Legislative Committee. Cayce was selected by his peers to serve a one-year term as chair of the Council of Chief Justices of Texas. He is a member of the American Law Institute, the American Judicature Society, the Eldon Mahon Chapter of the American Inns of Court (Emeritus), the College of the State Bar, and the Texas Bar Foundation. He is a founding member of the Law Alumni Association’s Fort Worth Chapter. Cayce is community servant active in many activities, such as NewDay Services for Children and Families, Inc., a nonprofit organization that works with the Tarrant County family and juvenile court systems to support children and parents affected by divorce and juvenile crime.

St. Mary’s Named a 2010 Best Value Law School
St. Mary’s University School of Law was selected by preLaw magazine as one of the 2010 Best Value law schools in the U.S. The fall issue of preLaw named 60 law schools across the country that best met criteria deeming them an education value. St. Mary’s is one of 11 private institutions on the list and the only private institution in Texas. “With tuition and cost of living expenses outpacing entry-level salaries, it is more important than ever for prospective law students to take into account value,” said Jack Crittenden, Editor and founder of preLaw magazine and its sisterpublication The National Jurist. Additionally, the law school was also named among The Best 172 Law Schools by The Princeton Review in their 2011 edition.

Journey of Hope Makes Campus Stop
The School of Law and St. Mary’s University Ministry Office of Social Justice hosted speakers from Journey of Hope, an organization that advocates for alternatives to the death penalty by discussing the impact of the death penalty on society. The organization is made up of family members of murder victims and current or former death row inmates, as well as activists fighting against the death penalty. Among those who spoke at St. Mary’s were Bud Welch, whose daughter was killed in the Oklahoma City federal building bombing; Curtis McCarty, who spent more than 20 years on death row wrongly convicted; Terri Steinberg, whose son is on death row in Virginia; and David Kaczynski, brother of the “Unabomber,” Ted Kaczynski.

Reamey (right) receives the Culture Medal of Honor from the University of Innsbruck.

Culture Medal of Honor Awarded to St. Mary’s Law Professor
St. Mary’s Institute on World Legal Problems commemorated 25 years of legal education in Austria in 2010. The City of Innsbruck, University of Innsbruck and the Austrian government applauded St. Mary’s for their long and prosperous partnership and honored St. Mary’s Professor of Law Gerald S. Reamey. Reamey, co-founder and co-director of the program held each summer at the University of Innsbruck, was awarded the Culture Medal of Honor (or Kulturehrenzeichen in the native language) from the City of Innsbruck at an award dinner hosted by the City and the State of Tyrol in the state capitol building. In another ceremony, the University of Innsbruck and St. Mary’s University School of Law exchanged gifts to celebrate the anniversary of the collaboration. Reamey and Vincent Johnson, also a professor at St. Mary’s School of Law, founded the Institute of World Legal Problems, an intense five-week summer session attended by as many as 130 students annually from law schools around the country. With specialized courses,

world-renowned guest speakers and a campus nestled in the picturesque Austrian Alps, the program ended its 25th session more successful than ever. “The Institute has grown into a robust program attracting hundreds of law students and top visiting scholars throughout the years,” Dean Cantú said. “Professor Reamey has nurtured the relationship between St. Mary’s School of Law and the City and University of Innsbruck.” Innsbruck City Council member for cultural affairs, Patrizia Moser, M.D., and Tyrolean Legislature President Herwig van Staa, Ph.D. presented the medal to Reamey for his personal contributions toward retaining a student atmosphere in Innbruck’s summer months and imparting esteem for Innsbruck to his students. Van Staa made note of the number of students who have been introduced to Innsbruck through St. Mary’s summer program. Reamey graduated from Trinity University and earned both his Juris Doctor and Master of Law degrees at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law.

Leon Honored
At the University’s President’s Dinner, attorney Jack Paul Leon was honored with the first-ever Living the Chaminade Legacy Award. St. Mary’s is celebrating ‘the Year of Chaminade’ marking the 250th anniversary of the birth of the Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, founder of the Society of Mary. President Charles L. Cotrell noted, “I chose an alumnus whose beliefs and actions reflect the Marianist mission of academic excellence, ethical

San Antonio Celebrates 58th Annual Red Mass
The 58th annual Red Mass celebrating the San Antonio legal community and inviting blessings on the judicial year was held in October at San Fernando Cathedral with the Auxiliary Bishop of San Antonio, The Most Rev. Oscar Cantu, S.T.L., as the homilist and principal celebrant. The Hon. Catherine Stone, Chief Justice of the Fourth Court of Appeals, offered reflections on the importance of Red Mass to the legal profession.


Jack Paul Leon receives the Living the Chaminade Legacy Award.

commitment, servant leadership and community building.” Leon graduated from St. Mary’s School of Law in 1959. A Korean War hero and prosecutor with the Bexar County District Attorney’s office, he went into private practice in 1962. His current firm is the Law Offices of Jack Paul Leon. Among his many professional affiliations, he is a charter member of both the Texas Trial Lawyers Association and the Texas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. His support for St. Mary’s mission and Chaminade’s dedication to education is evident in his service at the School of Law as an adjunct instructor and, many times, as a judge at Moot Court competitions. He has served on the St. Mary’s Board of Trustees, as president of the Law Alumni Association and is a longtime member of St. Mary’s Law Alumni Association Board of Directors. In 1986, Leon was named the St. Mary’s Distinguished Law Graduate. During the May graduation ceremony, the School of Law honored him with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Devoted to his faith community, Leon is an active member of St. George Maronite Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus.

during his three-year term and help guide the activities of the alumni association. Valencia, the son and grandson of migrant farm workers, earned his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 1990 after graduating with both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stanford University, and was a White House fellow for 1999-2000. At St. Mary’s, Valencia is associate dean for Administration and Finance and professor of law. He also teaches in the Summer Skills Enhancement Program, which prepares students for success in their legal education. Valencia chairs St. Mary’s Chicano Civil Rights Committee and is the founder of the Minority Pre-Law Symposium which educates high school and college students on all aspects of law school from the admission process to career options.

Mireles’ Portrait Unveiled
The portrait of The Hon. Paul Andrew “Andy” Mireles (B.A. ’72, J.D. ’75), who served as judge of the 73rd Judicial District Court from 1989 to 2009, and for 15 years on the St. Mary’s Law Alumni Association Board of Directors, was unveiled this fall on the Sarita Kenedy East Law Library Law Alumni Room’s Wall of Honor. Mireles was posthumously awarded the St. Mary’s University Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2010. The San Antonio Bar Association honored him with its President’s Award three times.

Law Campus Minister a Yellow Rose
St. Mary’s Law Campus Minister, Sr. Grace Walle, F.M.I., received the Yellow Rose of Texas Education Award, for her lifetime devotion to education. Sr. Grace received the award from the Constance Allen Heritage Guild for Lifetime Learning, a non-profit corporation organized by the Past Presidents of the Business and Professional Women’s Club of San Antonio. The guild provides scholarships to assist deserving individuals in furthering their education. Sr. Grace has provided personal and spiritual counseling at St. Mary’s University for almost 30 years, with more than half that time focused on assisting law students. Among her many duties, she coordinates San Antonio’s Red Mass, alternative community service-oriented spring breaks for law students, as well as recruiting law student participants for Aska-Lawyer, People’s Law School and other legal community service programs.

student with the highest GPA in all three law school classes. In 2005, a group of alumni approached the University and law school leadership about their desire to create the Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to assisting the School of Law in its mission to maintain its position as a premier institution producing attorneys who serve their communities and profession. The Foundation now supports the law school by providing scholarships, professorships, technology improvements, library upkeep, faculty enrichment and other assistance.

Valencia Elected to Harvard Law Foundation Endows Alumni Association Board Scholarship

The School of Law Associate Dean Reynaldo Anaya Valencia recently was elected to the Harvard Alumni Association Board of Directors. Valencia will represent Harvard graduates around the world

The St. Mary’s School of Law Foundation this fall endowed a $30,000 scholarship fund. The funds will be divided three ways, with a third going to the

The St. Mary’s Law Foundation endowed a $30,000 scholarship to promote continuous academic excellence.

St. Mary’s School of Law Celebrates the 2010 Distinguished Law Graduates
St. Mary’s University School of Law honored Bexar County Probate Judge Polly Jackson Spencer and Houston attorney Charles A. Beckham Jr. as the 2010 St. Mary’s Distinguished Law Graduates at an awards dinner Oct. 22 at the Westin Riverwalk Hotel. The annual award is given to two individuals with outstanding achievements in the legal profession and who have demonstrated service to St. Mary’s School of Law. “In their respective areas, Judge Spencer and Mr. Beckham have risen to the top of the legal field, not solely for their brilliant legal minds, but also for their untiring dedication as community servants,” said Dean Cantú. “They join past honorees as some of our brightest graduates who continue to bring respect and esteem to our alma mater.” Spencer has served as judge for Bexar County Probate Court Number One since 1990. She graduated from St. Mary’s School of Law in 1976 and began her career with Fulbright and Jaworski in Houston. She is a fellow of both the Texas Bar Foundation and San Antonio Bar Foundation. An accomplished attorney with more than 25 years experience, Beckham is a partner with Haynes and Boone LLP in Houston. Beckham specializes in bankruptcy, business restructuring and energy issues. He graduated from St. Mary’s University School of Law in 1979. For the past five years, Beckham has been recognized by Chambers USA as one of the leading practitioners in Texas for bankruptcy. The Distinguished Law Graduate Award Dinner was hosted by St. Mary’s Law Alumni Association President Elizabeth Rogers and Dean Cantú.

Charles A. Beckham Jr. and the Hon. Polly Jackson Spencer were honored as the 2010 Distinguished Law Graduates.

to all who participated in the 2010 Distinguished Graduate Dinner. Special thanks to all who bought a table. Proceeds will fund law school scholarships and alumni-sponsored student services.

Thank You


Charles A. Beckham Jr. Family Bridge Associates LLC Haynes and Boone, LLP George Spencer ( J.D. ’77) The Hon. Polly Jackson Spencer


Beirne, Maynard & Parsons, L.L.P. Cox Smith Matthews Incorporated Paul R. Vahldiek Jr. Valero Energy Corporation

Jon Christian Amberson, P.C. Margaret Anderson and Bill Crow Bankruptcy Law Section of the State Bar of Texas Class of 1979 – Friends of Charles A. Beckham Jr. Costco Liquors Davis, Cedillo & Mendoza, Inc. Jeffrey R. Davis/Davis Law Firm Dwain Dent/The Dent Law Firm Duncan, Bressler & Liu, Inc. Fort Worth Chapter Law Alumni Association Goode Casseb Jones Riklin Choate and Watson, P.C. Gonzalez, Chiscano, Angulo & Kasson, P.C. The Hon. Paul W. Green Albert Hartman Heinrichs & DeGennaro, P.C. Charlotte and A. L. Hernden The Hon. Barbara Parker Hervey and David C. Courreges Hispanic Law Alumni Association and Mexican American Bar Association of San Antonio Hornberger Sheehan Fuller & Beiter Incorporated Jackson Walker L.L.P. Kevin P. Kennedy Langley & Banack, Inc. David McQuade Leibowitz, P. C. Professor of Law Aloysius A. Leopold Margaret Maisel The Hon. Sandee Bryan Marion Antonio Martinez The Hon. Larry Noll, The Hon. Karen Pozza, The Hon. Barbara Nellermoe, The Hon. Martha Tanner and The Hon. Laura Parker James H. Pearl Pi Kappa Alpha Polunsky & Beitel, LLP RAB Law Firm P.C. The Hon. Israel Ramon Jr. The Hon. Ron Rangel, The Hon. Mary Roman, The Hon. Gloria Saldana, The Hon. Lori Valenzuela, The Hon. Lisa Jarrett, The Hon. Antonia Arteaga and The Hon. Renee McElhaney Ray, Valdez, McChristian & Jeans, P.C. Resources Global Professionals Tom Rhodes Law Firm PC and The Law Office of Clem Lyons Rio Grande Valley Chapter Law Alumni Association Becky Roof and Matthew Cutts/ Laura and Berry D. Spears Robert J. Salinas and Dr. Eduardo Caballero San Antonio Bar Association San Antonio Bar Foundation San Antonio Young Lawyers Foundation and The Ramos Law Firm, L.L.P. Shivers & Shivers Bill and Beth Squires and Wilson, Pennypacker & Thomson, L.L.P. Star Shuttle & Charter/Gray Line Tours St. Mary’s University St. Mary’s University School of Law and Dean Charles E. Cantú Winstead PC


Robert C. Cowan Jr., J.D. , San Antonio, ‘of counsel’ at the Law Offices of Tyler and Peery, was recently elected to the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross of San Antonio.

St. Mary’s Alumna Named Judge of the Year
The Hispanic National Bar Association named St. Mary’s University School of Law alumna and 144th Criminal District Court Judge Catherine Torres-Stahl ( J.D. ’93) as Latina Judge of the Year. She was recognized at the 2010 Hispanic National Bar Association Annual Convention this fall in Minneapolis, Minn. Torres-Stahl is a San Antonio native with degrees from St. Mary’s University and St. Mary’s School of Law. Prior to her election to the 144th District Court in 2006, she served as a City of San Antonio Municipal Court Judge in charge of the Juvenile Court. She cooperated with the City of San Antonio Community Initiatives Department to establish the Teen Court, which has been in operation since 2002.

Stanley G. Schneider, J.D., Houston, was honored by Texas Lawyer as one of the 25 Greatest Texas Lawyers of the Past Quarter Century. He is a partner in the Houston law firm of Schneider & McKinney PC.

David E. Chamberlain, J.D., Austin, a partner with the firm of Chamberlain & McHaney, is president-elect of the Austin Bar Association. He was named a Texas Super Lawyer for the sixth consecutive year and was inducted into the invitationonly American Board of Trial Advocates. Victor H. Negron Jr., J.D. , San Antonio, has been appointed by Gov. Rick Perry as a 438th District Court Judge. Larry Waks, J.D., Austin, was named a “Super Lawyer” for 2010. He is an attorney in the Austin branch of Jackson Walker LLP.

County in August. He is serving as the IV-D Associate Judge for the Fourth Administrative Judicial District in San Antonio. Renée McElhaney, J.D., San Antonio, was selected for the Women in Leadership-Mentoring Award by the San Antonio Business Journal. McElhaney was reelected to the 73rd District Court in Bexar County in Nov. Henry W. McGowan III, J.D., Brownwood, has taken the position of Assistant District Attorney for Brown County. Patrick B. Tobin, J.D., Dallas, was named a “Super Lawyer” for 2010. He is an attorney in the Dallas branch of Jackson Walker LLP.

best examples of using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope in science, technology, engineering or mathematics education. Michael Latimer, J.D., San Antonio, a municipal court judge and city prosecutor handling employment discrimination and labor laws, was asked to moderate a seminar session on privacy in the workplace at this summer’s National Employment Lawyers Association Convention in Washington, D.C.

Thad Coakley, J.D., Santa Clarita, Calif., received the 2010 Judge Advocate Association Outstanding Career Military Attorney Award (Marine Corps component) in recognition of his achievement in professional accomplishments, service to community, leadership, service to the legal profession and development of subordinates. Coakley also has been promoted to director, Ethics & Business Conduct for Lockheed Martin’s Information Systems & Global Services business area.

Peter Hosey, J.D., San Antonio, partner in the law firm of Jackson Walker, was recently elected to the 15-member Council of the Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Section of the State Bar of Texas where he will serve a three-year term. He was also named a “Super Lawyer” for 2010.

Joseph L. Walsh III, J.D., St. Louis, Mo., has been appointed as a Circuit Judge for the 21st Circuit, which includes all of St. Louis County, by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon. He has been in private practice for the past 24 years handling general civil trials and appeals, and previously served as the municipal judge of Creve Coeur.

James E. Berry, J.D., Houston, was elected chairman of the Board of Directors for the Houston Golf Association. He is a shareholder with the firm Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Martin focusing on general and commercial real estate. Nick A. Catoe Jr., J.D., Bulverde, was sworn in as Associate Judge of Bexar

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Marina Garcia Marmolejo, J.D., Laredo, partner in the law firm of Reid Davis, has been nominated by President Barack Obama to a federal judgeship in the U.S. Southern Judicial District of Texas.

Joan Labay-Marquez, J.D., Boerne, was recently named a “Gold Star” winner in the NASA-sponsored Top Stars contest that invited formal and informal educators in the United States to submit their

Pamela J. (McClain) Madere, J.D., Austin, is an attorney with the law firm of Coats Rose PC. Amy L. Nelson, J.D., CTFA, Houston, a gift-planning officer at Rice University, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Planned Giving Council of Houston.

The Hon. James E. Barlow (LL.B. ’54) died May 18, 2010. N. Bruce Hinsey Jr. (LL.B. ’53) died July 26, 2010. Andrew W. Seaman Jr. (LL.B.’57) died March 3, 2010. Jack E. White (LL.B. ’51) died Sept. 3, 2010. Marcellus F. Lipinski (LL.B. ’50) died Nov. 14, 2010.

Sonia M. Rodriguez, J.D., San Antonio, has been appointed by San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro as one of three chairpersons who will steer the Mayor’s 10-year visioning initiative for the city. Rodriguez is a partner in Branton & Hall PC. Jeffrey A. Walsh, J.D., San Antonio, board certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of legal Specialization, recently joined the Office of the Air Force General Counsel.

G.A. Benesh (LL.B. ’64) died May 23, 2010. Delano F. Martinak (LL.B. ’62) died Sept. 7, 2010. Ollie K. Mayo (LL.B. ’61) died March 28, 2010. Patrick N. O’Neill (LL.B.’63) died May 27, 2010. Mario G. Obledo (LL.B. ’60 ) died Aug. 18, 2010. Stetson G. Reed (LL.B.’69) died July 25, 2010. Charles H. Teal (LL.B.’61) died Feb. 9, 2010.

Mark T. Craig, J.D., Dallas, is an attorney with the law firm of Settle Pou PC. Susan Maldonado, J.D., Austin, assistant general counsel for the Texas Facilities Commission, and spouse, Bill, welcome Charlotte Guadalupe, born May 19, 2010.

Nena Gutierrez Byrd, J.D., Las Cruces, New Mexico, has taken the job of Staff Attorney at the office of New Mexico Legal Aid. She is married to Ryan Byrd ( J.D. ’01). Mariana Peralta Dannelley, J.D., San Antonio, has been hired as an Adjunct Professor of Managerial Communications at St. Edward’s University in Austin. She also teaches continuing education classes for working professionals at Northwest Vista Community College with a focus on nonprofit management. Calvin D. Johnson, J.D., Dallas, has accepted the position of in-house counsel at the Alliance-American Federation of Teachers.

Nelson M. Atwell ( J.D. ’71) died July 29, 2010. James P. Brennan Sr. ( J.D. ’75) died July 4, 2010. Michael B. Fetter ( J.D. ’75) died May 21, 2010. Robert W. Shannon ( J.D. ’79) died Aug. 15, 2010. Lt. Col. Alan E. Soefje ( J.D. ’70) died Jan. 9, 2010. Robert W. Shannon ( J.D. ’79) died on Aug. 15, 2010. Jeffrey S. Doerr ( J.D. ’77) died May 20, 2010.

Nadia N. Seeratan, J.D., Washington, D.C., is senior policy advocate for the National Juvenile Defender Center.

Col. Eliseo J. Garcia Sr. ( J.D. ’85) died July 1, 2010. John Wilson Rowland ( J.D. ’83) died Feb. 24, 2010.

Leslie Bollier, J.D., Austin, joined the Law Office of Becky Beaver. Sarah Logan Mancebo, J.D., Orlando, Fla., an attorney in GrayRobinson’s Orlando office, was elected to the Orange County Friends of the Library Board in July. Gabor Orosz, J.D., San Antonio, is a financial adviser with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.

David B. Laibovitz ( J.D. ’97) died Jan. 15, 2010. Robert A. McGlohon Jr. ( J.D. ’93) died April 7, 2010. Lanny D. Perdue ( J.D. ’98) died June 11, 2010. Frank J. Stenberg ( J.D. ’99) died May 25, 2010.

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Election Results
This November, St. Mary’s School of Law graduates were active in many races across the country. While not a comprehensive list, we would like to acknowledge and congratulate all those who won their elections.

Alumni Recognized by Attorney General
St. Mary’s School of Law is proud of two graduates who were recently recognized by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott as Assistant Attorney General of the Year for their respective regions. Robert Sanchez ( J.D. ‘98) is an assistant attorney general for the Child Support Division’s El Paso Central office and Daryl Dumph ( J.D. ‘05) is assistant attorney general for the Child Support Division’s Central Austin office.

Thomas Corbett (J.D. ’75), governor-elect of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, spoke at St. Mary’s 2008 School of Law commencement ceremony.

Legislative Branch:
U.S. Representative – Charles Gonzalez ( J.D. ’72), Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus U.S. Representative – Blake Farenthold ( J.D. ‘89) Texas State Senator – Carlos Uresti ( J.D. ’92 ) Texas State Representative – Rolando Guitterez ( J.D. ’98 ) Texas State Representative – Naomi Gonzalez ( J.D. ‘03)

Grady L. Williamson, J.D., Austin, has joined the firm of Kemp Smith LLP as an associate in the firm’s litigation department. Before joining Kemp Smith LLP, Williamson represented healthcare providers as an associate with the law firm of Davis & Wilkerson PC in Austin.

Paralegal Program at Amarillo College has been named Attorney of the Year by the Amarillo-area Equal Justice Volunteer Program of Legal Aid of Northwest Texas.

Thomas L. McMillian, J.D., Amarillo, is an assistant district attorney for the 47th District Attorney’s Office. James A. Rodriguez, J.D., San Antonio, is a founding associate municipal judge of the newly formed Von Ormy Municipal Court.

Judicial Branch:
Justice Supreme Court of Texas – Paul Green ( J. D. ’77) Justice, 4th Court of Appeals – Marialynn Barnard ( J.D. ’92 ) Justice, 4th Court of Appeals – Sandee Bryan Marion ( J.D. ’80) Judge, 13th Court of Appeals – Greg Perkes ( J.D. ’87) District Judge, 3rd – Robb Catalano ( J.D. ’95) District Judge, 45th – Barbara Hansen Nellermoe ( J.D. ’83 ) District Judge, 73rd – Renee McElhaney ( J.D. ’93 ) District Judge, 141st – John Chupp ( J.D. ’98) District Judge, 144th – Angus McGinty ( J.D. ’90) District Judge, 187th – Raymond Angelini ( J.D. ’75) District Judge, 226th – Sid Harle ( J.D. ’80) District Judge, 227th – Philip Kazen ( J.D. ’86 ) District Judge, 288th – Sol Casseb III ( J.D. ’73 ) District Judge, 290th – Melisa Skinner ( J.D. ’93 ) District Judge, 437th – Lori Valenzuela ( J.D. ’98 ) County Judge – Nelson Wolff ( J.D. ’66) Judge, County Court No. 2 – Jennifer Rymell ( J.D. ’91 ) Judge, County Court No. 4 – Sarah Garrahan ( J.D. ’81 ) Judge, County Court No. 6 – Wayne Christian ( J.D. ’79) Judge, County Court No. 10 – Irene Rios ( J.D. ’90 ) Judge, County Court No. 13 – Monica Gonzalez ( J.D. ’85 ) Judge, County Court No. 14 – Bill C. White ( J.D. ’83) Judge, Probate Court No. 1 – Polly Jackson Spencer ( J.D. ’76) Judge, Probate Court No. 2 – Tom Rickhoff (B.A ’66, J.D. ’69)

Rashin Mazaheri, J.D., San Antonio, an attorney with Dreyer & Mazaheri LLP, was elected by her peers as a 2010 “Best Lawyer” in Scene In SA magazine.

Chris Marrou, J.D., San Antonio, is a founding associate municipal judge of the newly formed Von Ormy Municipal Court. Art Martinez de Vara, J.D., a partner in the San Antonio Law Office of Ramirez & Martinez de Vara, was elected for a second term as mayor of Von Ormy. Ashley E. Brown Morgan, J.D., McKinney, is an assistant district attorney for Grayson County. Bruce Moseley, J.D., Amarillo, attorney at law and director of the

Robby Chapman, J.D., Corpus Christi, has been named Assistant District Attorney for Nueces County. Temple Ramming, J.D., Houston, was sworn in as an attorney-at-law by State District Judge Mike McSpadden in June. Jordan Smith, J.D., San Antonio, has been accepted into the Real Estate Council of San Antonio’s Leadership Development Program. He is an associate with the San Antonio branch of Jackson Walker LLP.

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Winter 2010

Feb. 11 Feb. 18 TBD/ Feb. March 11 March 25 April 9 May 14 June 23-24

The Scholar Symposium 10th Annual Symposium on Legal Malpractice & Professional Responsibility 10th Annual Minority Pre-Law Symposium School of Law Reunion & Homecoming CLE St. Mary’s University Homecoming St. Mary’s Law Journal Awards Banquet School of Law Commencement State Bar Annual Meeting, San Antonio

April 8 & 9 Fiesta Oyster Bake





For more information on these or other events, please check our website at For alumni event information, please contact Al Hartman at

St. Mary’s University School of Law Newsletter
President Charles L. Cotrell, Ph.D. (B.A. ’62, M.A. ’64) School of Law Dean Charles E. Cantú ( J.D. ’64) Editor Beth Barbee

Help keep us up-to-date on your accomplishments by dropping us a note. You can also submit your information to or by fax at (210) 431-4388.
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St. Mary's University School of Law, “Law Notes: St. Mary's University School of Law Newsletter Winter 2010,” St. Mary's Law Digital Repository, accessed May 23, 2019,

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